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New Device Shortens Chest-Tube Insertion From Minutes To Seconds

09/03/2016

VIDEO: Hebrew University students develop life-saving device following a wave of stabbing attacks that leaves some civilians with collapsed lungs

Pneumothorax is a medical emergency: the collection of air in the pleural space separating the lung from the chest wall, causing it to collapse and resulting in suffocation. Pneumothorax is caused by chest trauma, and is believed to be responsible for over a third of preventable deaths on the battlefield and in terror attacks.

The current treatment involves two steps: a fast needle decompression of the thorax (between the neck and abdomen, where the lungs and other vital organs are located), followed by a 10-minute tissue separation and tube insertion procedure into the chest to drain air and blood, allowing the lung to re-inflate.

“This is a very laborious and technically difficult procedure,” said Dr. Ariel Drori, an internal medicine expert at Hadassah Medical Center, “leading caregivers to neglect the second step in favor of rapid evacuation from the scene to the hospital.”

The need for an alternative solution was made evident by a recent wave of stabbing attacks that left dozens of Israeli civilians dead or wounded. Members of the BioDesign: Medical Innovation program, created by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center, set out to solve this problem.

To address this challenge, Dr. Drori partnered with Yoav Kan-Tor and Bettina Nadorp, engineering students at The Hebrew University’s Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering, along with Dr. Liran Levy, a pulmonologist from Hadassah Medical Center, and Chen Goldstein, an MBA student at The Hebrew University. Together they developed ThoraXS.

Video about ThoraXS can be seen at https://youtu.be/jZ3fhZmgyiY

ThoraXS is a one-handed thoracic portal opener that shortens the procedure time of chest-tube insertion from minutes to less than 30 seconds. Its closed knife-shape allows fast penetration of the pleural space, and its mechanical opening mechanism enables rapid and easy opening of a portal through which a chest tube can be quickly inserted. ThoraXS is thus a single-step, rapid life-saving solution for treating pneumothorax.

Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, director of the Hebrew University’s Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering, said: “Our students responded to terror attacks by developing life-saving medical devices, an approach that is the very essence of our BioDesign: Medical Innovation program. ThoraXS is a life-saving innovation that exemplifies our commitment to helping the local and global communities through practical research and development projects.”

Nahmias added that ThoraXS's market potential was estimated at $300 million annually, and that continued investment is actively being sought.

The innovations produced by the Biodesign program participants are commercialized by Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Hadasit, the technology transfer company of the Hadassah Medical Center.

BioDesign: Medical Innovation is a multi-disciplinary, team-based approach to medical innovation, created by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center. Sponsored by Boston Scientific and the Terumo Medical Corporation, the program takes outstanding medical fellows, bioengineering and business graduate students, and tutors them in the science and practice of bringing a medical innovation to the market. The program is directed by Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, director of the Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Prof. Chaim Lotan, director of the Heart Institute at Hadassah Medical Center.

New Device Shortens Chest-Tube Insertion From Minutes To Seconds
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To Help Diabetics, Intelligent Socks Are Paired With Smartphones

27/01/2016

VIDEO: Hebrew University students aim to reduce foot ulcers by linking pressure-sensing socks to a smart phone application that warns patients of developing wounds

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage associated with the development of foot ulcers in patients with diabetes. Resulting from anatomical deformation, excessive pressure and poor blood supply, it affects over 130 million individuals worldwide. It is also the leading cause of amputation, costing the United States economy alone more than $10 billion annually.

Diabetic patients are encouraged to get regular checkups to monitor for the increased pressure and ulceration that can eventually require amputation. However, ulcers are only diagnosed after they occur, meaning that patients require healing time, which dramatically increases healthcare costs. 

Members of the BioDesign: Medical Innovation program, created by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center, set out to solve this problem.

“This is a significant medical problem that affects the lives of millions. We thought there must be a way to avoid these wounds altogether,” said Danny Bavli, the group’s lead engineer.  

To address this challenge, Bavli partnered with Sagi Frishman and Dr. David Morgenstern, a leading orthopedic surgeon at Hadassah Medical Center. Together with other members of the Hebrew University BioDesign group, they developed SenseGO, a machine-washable sock containing dozens of micro-fabricated pressure sensors.

With SenseGO, changes in pressure due to incorrect posture, anatomical deformation or ill-fitting shoes are registered as electrical signals that are relayed to a smartphone app, which in turn informs the patient of developing risk.

Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, BioDesign program director, said: “This is a classic mobile health approach. By giving patients and their families the tools they need to prevent the development of ulcers, we can dramatically reduce health care costs related to diabetes.”

Other members of the BioDesign SenseGO team included Inbal Boxerman and Yael Hadar, MBA students at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Video about SenseGO can be seen at: https://youtu.be/drc7NpiiB74

BioDesign: Medical Innovation is a multi-disciplinary, team-based approach to medical innovation, created by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center. Sponsored by Boston Scientific and the Terumo Medical Corporation, the program takes outstanding medical fellows, bioengineering and business graduate students, and tutors them in the science and practice of bringing a medical innovation to the market. The program is directed by Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, director of the Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Prof. Chaim Lotan, director of the Heart Institute at Hadassah Medical Center.

The innovations produced by the Biodesign program participants are commercialized by Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Hadasit, the technology transfer company of the Hadassah Medical Center.

To Help Diabetics, Intelligent Socks Are Paired With Smartphones
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